The first press conference of the 18th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast! The EBU and Host Broadcaster TVP welcomed the media and fans online for this year's press conference due to the coronaivrus restrictions. Keep reading to find out what went down!
This year's press conference was conducted a little bit differently than in previous years, much like many events in 2020. This time, instead of the media joining in the room, the press were also viewing online with the rest of us!
"It has been challenging, but we did it!"
The event kicked off with host of the conference, Agata Konarska, who promised viewers a "special edition" of this year's Junior Eurovision Song Contest! She shared her excitement in the fact that Poland had the opportunity to host the competition for the 2nd time in a row and showed her pride in her country for organising the event under such difficult circumstances. "It has been challenging, but we did it," she said.
Agata then introduced the organisers of the event: Executive Supervisor of Junior Eurovision 2020 Martin Österdahl from the EBU and President of Host Broadcaster TVP, Jacek Kurski who joined her live on stage in Warsaw.
We then got to see a beautiful video of Viki Gabor singing her 2019 winning song Superhero that included inspiring images matched with a voice over of empowering words that invited us to Move The World. The Polish winner from last year inspired us to “aim high”, “to find our own language” and to “believe your dreams will become a reality” just like hers did!
"A unique and spectacular show!"
Mr. Kurski was honoured to welcome viewers back to Poland and expressed his pride for being the first public broadcaster in Junior Eurovision history to host the competition 2 consecutive years in a row. He described the event as a "wonderful show which allows young, passionate artists to follow their dreams of a musical career." He also took pride in the trust the viewers placed in TVP. "Last year nearly 7.7 million viewers and over 5.5. million viewers on average" watched the show, he said. He then thanked everyone involved in the production process this year, from everyone in the TVP and EBU to the participants too.
"Together we can overcome the greatest adversities"
This year, there were a completely new set of challenges for the Host Broadcaster. They had to develop unique and safe rules that allowed the organisation of this year's large online concert that will feature the combined transmissions from various places around the world! Not only that, they also implemented new technical solutions that will enrich the experience using elements of augmentative reality techniques! Despite the fact that we would all not be able to meet in Warsaw, the organisers have managed to bring together all the participants in our final on the screen! Jacek is convinced that the Junior Eurovision 2020 event will be a success and that they can "overcome the greatest adversities and provide viewers with high class entertainment."
"First time in world..."
Many viewers were particularly impressed by the augmented reality and visuals displayed during the Opening Ceremony. Mr Kurski reported that they did not only apply augmentative reality techniques during the concert, but also XR extended reality with the use of an LED screen system and camera positioning in a 3D space. In fact, he said it was the "first time in the world that XR technology was used in a multi camera live shooting!"
He also mentioned that the Junior Eurovision clip by this year's Polish representative, Ala Tracz, was filmed in the form of a so-called 'master shot' which was also the first time it was used in the history of the competition! The result of the Opening Ceremony came down to a lot of hard and complicated work, but that it proved his team at TVP were "not afraid of ambitious and difficult challenges!"
Of course, Agata asked who is the President's favourite 2020 participant. While he stated he supported all the talented artists from this year's competition he said with his hand on his chest, that he would be "less than honest" if he didn't say his heart was with Ala Tracz.
“Our strength is the sum of all the efforts we do together”
We then heard from Mr. Österdahl who reminded viewers that the EBU is a member's state and that their "strength is the sum of all the effort" they do together. Despite the fact that they "faced more challenges than perhaps ever before" the atmosphere had been very positive throughout. He expressed his deep gratitude to all the broadcasters, participants and highly competent and talented team at the TVP including all those involved in putting in double, sometimes triple the amount of work that normally goes into producing the event.
“I think this will be an extraordinary show… one that will be remembered for a long time. It will show that this is the real spirit of the Eurovision. It will show that it will be resilient, we can be innovative, and we can work strongly together," said Mr. Österdahl.
Not everyone believed that the EBU and TVP could do it but the team were solution focused and driven, despite having to overcome obstacles that once seemed impossible. The competition this year "is going to raise the bar for competitions to come" said the Executive Supervisor of the competition.
Viewers were then treated with a video showing the dedication and commitment from everyone involved in the creation of the event, including backstage visuals of the artists, staging crew, and more!
"Winning is my favourite!"
Last year's winner, Viki Gabor joined the stage and was asked what her most memorable moments of her time in the competition last year. Besides making new friends which she still stays in touch with to this day, and observing how the competition was made, she still found winning to be her favourite memory!
Viki said a lot had changed in her life since winning the competition. She now has her debut album Getaway (Into My Imagination) out now. Despite all the changes, she still is enjoying what she loves to do, including working and writing songs with her sister. She stopped short of letting us all in on what dreams and plans she has in store for us in the future as the talented artists likes to keep things as a surprise! The Polish superstar also advised the Junior 2020 competitors to be themselves, try to stress less, have fun and make good memories.
When all of a sudden Mr. Kurski politely interrupted and said: "there is actually one thing that happened in Viki’s life and everyone can observe it and it's that Viki is now 15cm taller - incredible! She grew up!"
"We give the decisive voice to our viewers"
Next up was the online media questions! The press wondered how the Polish delegation managed to find the right songs and right young talent, year after year. Mr. Kurski explained that they selected their representative from the most popular TV musical show in Poland 'Chance for Success: Eurovision Junior' whereby the artist is selected by 50% jury decision and 50% SMS voting that gives them "a perfect balance of what is appreciated by the critiques and the popular reaction to the performance." He went on to say that he was very proud "that this selection process brought fame to the outstanding individuals Viki Gabor and Roksana Węgiel."
Martin was then asked for a response on the many countries that had to withdrew from this years' competition due to the covid 19 pandemic. While he was saddened by the fact that some of "our friends" could not be with us, he was sure they were all participating in some form, either through watching the show or getting involved in the voting too. he assured viewers that they were in discussions with everyone to come back next year too and believed that the success of this show will increase their interest again next year.
Mrs. Konarska thanked everyone for joining in on this special first press conference and advised everyone to prepare themselves for "an amazing evening when we join together to Move The World!"
The event was then closed off with the video of Viki Gabor singing the theme song, Move The World which included the spectacular and revolutionary augmentative reality.
Don't forget to tune in this Sunday 29 November at 17:00 CET when all the contestants will share their music with you!
Did you miss the press conference? Check it out now: